Pinhole Photography Reflection

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Stefan Killian, NY Carousel

The following questions should test your understanding of photography based on our Pinhole Camera unit:

  1. How does your pinhole camera see the world differently than your own eyes?
  2. Come up with three adjectives to describe pinhole images and what makes them different than images on, say, your cell phone camera.
  3. Describe the experience of working with a pinhole camera. What was your favorite part of the process? What did you find most challenging?
  4. What are the differences between a pinhole camera and a 35mm film camera?
  5. Would you consider a pinhole camera a technology? Why or why not?
  6. What do you understand about exposure based on making pinholes? Describe.
  7. What did you learn about time and motion based on making pinhole images? Describe.
  8. What did you learn about photography from making your own pinhole camera? List three things:
  9. Describe three things you learned about using the darkroom during this unit:
  10. What was your most successful pinhole image, and why?

Identity Project / Studio Portraits

“Steve” by Matt Hoyle, from his book “Comic Genius”
“Tina” by Matt Hoyle, from the book “Comic Genius”

Essential Questions:

  • What defines you as a person? Is it: Culture? Personality? History? Gender? Your interests or activities?
  • How can the visual medium of photography be used to represent these aspects of identity?
  • What do you wish to share about yourself? What do you wish to keep private? How much can a photographic portrait show about a person?

Directions for Shooting this Assignment:

  • With a partner, shoot one portrait in the studio (our classroom). You will photograph them, and they will photograph you. Others can join in and help, but you and your partner will have a plan and will direct the crew.
  • For this image, think about one specific theme in your life (rather than every aspect of your life–that might be impossible to capture in one image!) You need to bring one prop or clothing item that shows a theme in your life. The quality of the light (direction, intensity, hardness or softness, color) can also help express your personality.
  • You are trying to get one great shot to print large that defines you (or apart of your life). Work until you get it!
  • You will spend 15 or 20 minutes setting up, 20 or so minutes shooting, and the remaining time in class putting the equipment (lights, backdrop, camera, tripod) away.

Directions for your Identity blog post:

  1. Include three images from your photo shoot. You may have a main image and two alternates… 
  2. Write about your identity, and how you expressed it through these images. One 5-7 sentence paragraph minimum. Look back at the essential questions, at the top of this assignment. In your paragraph, answer the following:
    1. What are you showing about yourself in this image?
    2. Why did you make the decisions you did as a photographer for these images?
    3. What was the experience of making these images like for you?
    4. What did you learn about photography and yourself through this project?
    5. Do you like studio portraiture? If so why?
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    Zach by Matt Hoyle, from the book “Comic Genius” (130 portraits of comedians)

Production Packet

Greta Gerwig directs Timothee Chalamet and Saoirse Ronan on the set of “Ladybird”

For your production to be successful, you need to plan the whole production, as well as each shoot. The more questions you answer before you start, the more organized and efficient you will be. For example, do you know exactly what equipment you need? Can all of your crew members and actors make it to your shoot dates? Do you have all important props or costume items with you for each shoot? Which scenes and which shots do you need to get on which days? By writing it all down, you, your crew, and your teacher will be confident that your production will go as well as it possibly can. 

Writer/Director Greta Gerwig working with her cinematographer on the set of “Ladybird”

The film’s Producer turns in bulk of the the information listed below, and is in charge of gathering and writing up all the production information in it. The Writer/Director turns in the treatment and screenplay. The Director of Photography turns in the shot list (written in collaboration with the Director) and storyboard. All of these elements are combined to create the production packet. 

The packet must be bound in a binder or organized in a folder. The production packet itself needs to be typed, clean and professional. 

Your production packet should include:

  • Treatment: a paragraph or two describing your film from start to end. Your treatment should describe the theme, subjects (and their motivations), the story (place, time frame, events), and style. *

  • The most current draft of your screenplay. *
  • List of locations (with any relevant information: transportation to and from, hours you can shoot there, permissions needed or granted, and so on)

  • List of actors (cast, and to be cast)

  • List of props and costumes (be as specific as possible)

  • Equipment list (be as specific as possible–camera, sound, camera mounts, special rigs)

  • Shooting schedule (which scenes are you shooting when; start by breaking down your script into scenes–each new location is a scene)

  • Contact information for all cast and crew; also include their availability (ie “Abby, Director of Photography, available all weekends except first weekend in March, no after school”)

  • Complete shot list for each scene. *

  • Storyboards for at least three scenes (choose the scenes that are the most complex visually and show the style of the film).*

* The writer can add the treatment and current draft of the screenplay to the packet on the due date. The DP  can add the shot list and storyboard to the packet on the due date.

Wes Anderson directing Moonage Kingdom
Writer / Director Wes Anderson shooting a scene from “Moonrise Kingdom”


Showing project (WRKXFMLY)

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We are privileged to be able to participate in a national photography project, the “Showing (Work & Family)” Assignment.

Description (from the website):

“The Showing (work x family) story could not be complete without the perspectives of young people who live it. We developed WRKXFMLY, an original assignment for high school students formally studying photography, to bring their unique and important perspectives to ShowingIn the assignment, students create pictures and write statements addressing the overlap of work and family in their own lives. We encourage students to consider broad definitions of “family” and “work.” Their photographs are then considered for inclusion alongside professional work in our traveling exhibition. We also offer opportunities for regional student exhibitions.”

Mr. Gooder and Mr. Cataldo will post select work (and what you write about it) here weekly: CCHS Showing Photoblog. Check it to see your work and the work of your fellow photographers! Hopefully, friends, family, teachers and other members of our school community will check it often as your work evolves. Remember, your black and while film based work can be scanned and uploaded too!

If selected, student work may be exhibited in at Framingham State University next year.

Big Ideas & Essential Questions


Untitled © 2015 Desiree Bustos, WRKXFMLY Assignment, Walden Grove High School, Sahuarita, AZ

Big Ideas

  • In the United States, work and family life often overlap in many ways, both obvious and nuanced.
  • There are all kinds of families and all kinds of work. Every family experience is different and valid. There are no right or wrong answers. There is no “normal.”
  • Photography and the written word can express and explain the various realities of work and family life and illuminate how they intersect.

Essential Questions

  • How do work and family overlap in your life, especially for your parent(s)/guardian(s)?
  • How can photographic images and text communicate the ways that family life and work life overlap?

As part of the assignment, a professional photographer, Tsar Fodorosky, will be visiting our students three times: first to explain the project, about a month later to look at student work in progress, and for a final critique. This is a unique opportunity for advanced students to get real world feedback and help with their photography work. See Ms. Fodorosky’s work here:

For more information and student work samples:

Instagram account: @wrkxfmly  #wrkxfmly

Facebook page:

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Adobe Photoshop CC tutorials

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Watch these Adobe Photoshop CC tutorials to help you advance your Photoshop skills:

Note: I will add to this list  with new tutorials as needed! 

Assignment: Harvard Art Museum


The renovated Harvard Art Museums combines old and new–both in architecture and the work on display. The museum houses everything from Buddhas thousands of years old to new work by contemporary artists. 

Our assignment at the museum is to:

  1. Partner up! Explore the museum with another student. Visit every exhibit and discuss as you go. Choose a partner you can work well with–remember, you are on assignment! 

Write about your favorite work: 

  1. As you go through the exhibits, take images with your phone of your favorite pieces of art–pieces you would like to discuss/critique/analyze. You need to choose at least six pieces from at least four different exhibits. At least two must be photographs. Don’t forget to write down or take a picture of the  title, artist and date. 
  2.  Create a google doc which you will share with your Mr. Gooder.
  3. For each piece, write one paragraph. Write about why you were drawn to the work. Why does this work inspire or impress you? Is it what it depicts? The emotion it conveys? It’s subtlety or boldness? It’s history? It’s craftsmanship or use of materials?  
  4. Include your image of the work with your paragraph. 
  5. Share your review with your teacher by class time on Monday, December 14th. 

Our goal in going to the museum is to:

  • Be exposed to terrific artwork from around the world
  • Think about and discuss what we see
  • Be inspired in our own work when we return to the classroom
  • Enjoy a well-earned day together as a class to celebrate art

Our essential questions include:

  • How can we apply our critical skills when looking at artwork to work in all media?
  • How do different artists and cultures express themselves visually and through the materials and subjects available to them?
  • How is art work curated (chosen and arranged), and how does this this affects how we ‘read’ artwork? 

Check out the museum before we go: Harvard Art Museum website (Photography students should go to “Collections” and type in “Photography”)

The museum website also features “Hotspots,” which educate visitors about the artworks’ history and context: link to “Hotspots”

Here is a good article on the “new” museum, with a slideshow of images: New York Times Harvard Art Museum



Advanced Filmmaking Reflection


Wes Anderson directing Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Having screened and discussed all the films in class, reflect on you Quarter 1 Narrative Short Film. Demonstrate through this reflection what you have learned from the process of making you film with a crew of your peers.
At least 3 sentences each answer: 
  1. What do you feel you planned well on this production (something you did intentionally that is visible / audible in the final product)?
  2. Tell me a story from your shoot. Did anything happen on your production that was unexpected? Was it good or bad for your production?
  3. What would you do differently next time? What have you learned from making this film?
  4. Who contributed to your production, and how? Give thanks to one of your collaborators (crew or cast members).
  5. What is the best film (other than your own) produced in this class so far, and why?

Review an Article on Digital Technology

panasonic limuxThe possibilities for digital photography are expanding every day with new tools and technologies. For this assignment, search on line for an article or review of a digital imaging technology that you are curious about. Write a summary of the article (one paragraph), and your opinion of the technology. Post your review on your blog. In your blog post, include a link to the article so we can read it, as well as at least one image of the technology.

Alternate assignment: Review a favorite photographer who uses digital technology in their work. Describe their work (summarize it) in your first paragraph, then describe why you like it (review it) in your second paragraph. Include a link to their work, as well as an image or images of their work in your blog post.

I expect you to search online and find the article on your own. It can be a technology review, but don’t just get information from the company’s website–read a review as well by a third party.